4 Scopus citations


Siderophores produced via nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) pathways serve as critical virulence factors for many pathogenic bacteria. Improved knowledge of siderophore biosynthesis guides the development of inhibitors, vaccines, and other therapeutic strategies. Fimsbactin A is a mixed ligand siderophore derived from human pathogenic Acinetobacter baumannii that contains phenolate-oxazoline, catechol, and hydroxamate metal chelating groups branching from a central l-Ser tetrahedral unit via amide and ester linkages. Fimsbactin A is derived from two molecules of l-Ser, two molecules of 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB), and one molecule of l-Orn and is a product of the fbs biosynthetic operon. Here, we report the complete in vitro reconstitution of fimsbactin A biosynthesis in a cell-free system using purified enzymes. We demonstrate the conversion of l-Orn to N1-acetyl-N1-hydroxy-putrescine (ahPutr) via ordered action of FbsJ (decarboxylase), FbsI (flavin N-monooxygenase), and FbsK (N-acetyltransferase). We achieve conversion of l-Ser, DHB, and l-Orn to fimsbactin A using FbsIJK in combination with the NRPS modules FbsEFGH. We also demonstrate chemoenzymatic conversion of synthetic ahPutr to fimsbactin A using FbsEFGH and establish the substrate selectivity for the NRPS adenylation domains in FbsH (DHB) and FbsF (l-Ser). We assign a role for the type II thioesterase FbsM in producing the shunt metabolite 2-(2,3-dihydroxyphenyl)-4,5-dihydrooxazole-4-carboxylic acid (DHB-oxa) via cleavage of the corresponding thioester intermediate that is tethered to NRPS peptidyl carrier domains during biosynthetic assembly. We propose a mechanism for branching NRPS-derived peptides via amide and ester linkages via the dynamic equilibration of N-DHB-Ser and O-DHB-Ser thioester intermediates via hydrolysis of DHB-oxa thioester intermediates. We also propose a genetic signature for NRPS "branching" in the presence of a terminating C-T-C motif (FbsG).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2923-2935
Number of pages13
JournalACS Chemical Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 21 2022


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